Comparison of bacterial reaction centers and photosystem II

László Kálmán, Joann Williams, James Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


In photosynthetic organisms, the utilization of solar energy to drive electron and proton transfer reactions across membranes is performed by pigment-protein complexes including bacterial reaction centers (BRCs) and photosystem II. The well-characterized BRC has served as a structural and functional model for the evolutionarily-related photosystem II for many years. Even though these complexes transfer electrons and protons across cell membranes in analogous manners, they utilize different secondary electron donors. Photosystem II has the unique ability to abstract electrons from water, while BRCs use molecules with much lower potentials as electron donors. This article compares the two complexes and reviews the factors that give rise to the functional differences. Also discussed are the modifications that have been performed on BRCs so that they perform reactions, such as amino acid and metal oxidation, which occur in photosystem II.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-655
Number of pages13
JournalPhotosynthesis research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • Manganese
  • Oxygen evolving complex
  • Photosynthesis
  • Purple bacteria
  • Reaction center
  • Rhodobacter sphaeroides
  • Tyrosine oxidation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Plant Science
  • Cell Biology


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